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23 June 2011

Davis Cup return for del Potro


Photo: Daniel MaurerJuan Martin del Potro (ARG)

Juan Martin del Potro is set to make a return to Davis Cup by BNP Paribas after Argentina’s captain Tito Vazquez named him in the side to face Kazakhstan in the World Group quarterfinals in Buenos Aires.

David Nalbandian, Juan Ignacio Chela and Juan Monaco make up the four-man team, while the inclusion of del Potro after a two-year absence provides a welcome boost for Vazquez.

“That he is ready to play Davis Cup is a great happiness,” said the Argentinean captain at a press conference. “It has been a long time since he last played in Argentina. He has been looking very good. That Argentina can enjoy watching him play on these courts is special.”

The former US Open champion’s last Davis Cup appearance was at the same stage in 2009, but a career threatening wrist injury has since ruled him out of action for Argentina. He played a handful of tournaments at the end of 2010 before making his full comeback at the start of this season.

Although del Potro bowed out in the Australian Open second round in January, he quickly found his feet and went on to win the titles at Delray Beach and Estoril, helping his ranking rise to No. 21 in the world, just 17 places below his career best of No. 4.

The return of del Potro left Vazquez with a selection dilemma, whether to pick doubles specialist Eduardo Schwank or opt for a deeper singles line-up. He went for the latter option and Schwank was sacrificed, leaving the likely doubles pair coming from the trio of Nalbandian, Chela and Monaco.

Official team nominations are not due until next week, and Kazakhstan are yet to name their line-up for the trip to Parque Roca, a clay court venue at which Argentina have never lost.

The action gets under way in Buenos Aires a day earlier than originally scheduled because of government elections on 10 July, so the tie is taking place on 7-9 July. The other three World Group quarterfinals are being played on 8-10 July.

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